Friends of April Hill Park celebrate completion of wetland project!

New April Hill Park boardwalk and observation platform
New boardwalk and observation platform in April Hill Park protect the wetland from compaction and create safer access for both people and wildlife.  Photo by Jennifer Seamans.

Done at last!  After many years of discussion, planning, grant writing, design, engineering, and construction, the Friends of April Hill Park, along with Portland Parks & Recreation, Maplewood Neighborhood Association, SW Watershed Resource Center, and Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. are excited to celebrate the completion of the April Hill Park wetland protection project! 

In 2009, Portland Parks & Recreation prioritized the plan for a boardwalk, observation platform, and natural area trail to protect the April Hill Park wetland. Seasonal flooding and the lack of formal trails were causing park users to create paths crisscrossing the area. Along with dog off leash use, these paths compacted sensitive wetland plants and soils, spread invasive species, and threatened wildlife and water quality. 

Friends of April Hill Park received a Metro Natural Areas Bond Measure’s Nature in Neighborhoods Capital Grant in 2013.  The grant, along with a generous donation of engineering services by a neighbor, propelled the project forward. 

Now that the project is finished, the wetland is able to flood freely while allowing safer access for visitors to observe plants, birds and other wildlife that call the wetland home.

On Sunday, April 9 from 2-4pm, we will celebrate the completion of this project with guest speakers David Harrelson, Historic Preservation Officer for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, and Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. The Robert Gray Middle School Marching Band will also help mark the occasion. 

Following the official ribbon cutting, there will be refreshments, activities for visitors of all ages, and walking tours of the wetland led by Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde cultural educator Greg Archuleta, and Friends of April Hill Park chair Jill Gaddis.

Everyone is welcome and invited to attend this free event. Many thanks to Metro Natural Areas Bond Measure’s Nature in Neighborhood Capital Grants Program, Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and generous donations by community residents for funding that made this wetland project a reality!

Click here for the Facebook event link to invite your friends!